We told you last month that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) doesn’t want Big Oil to be forced to spend billions of dollars to repair the marshes that once protected his state from floods.
Now comes news of the extreme steps Jindal is willing to take to ensure that the gas and oil industry, which has paid more than $1 million into his election campaigns, is protected from a lawsuit filed in July by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.
The flood authority is suing BP, ExxonMobil, and other oil companies in a bid to force them to spend billions restoring shorelines that they tore up while exploring and drilling for gas and oil and building pipelines. Those shorelines had been home to marshes and other coastal ecosystems that naturally buffered the New Orleans area from rising seas and storm surges.
The flood-control officials would like those marshes back, pretty please. But Jindal thinks their lawsuit is an outrageous attack on a wholesome industry that shouldn’t be held accountable for its own actions. He’s moving to kill the lawsuit by reshaping the authority’s 11-person board, axing members who support it. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Garret Graves, chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, said Friday that Jindal “will not” reappoint Tim Doody, president of the levee authority, and Vice President John Barry. Both Doody and Barry, whose terms officially expired June 30, have faced attacks from the Jindal administration, which opposes the levee authority’s controversial lawsuit demanding that 97 energy firms repair wetlands damage or pay to repair the damage. …
“Barry and Doody will not be reappointed,” Graves said. “In regard to other members of the board, we plan to continue working with them to better understand the implications of the lawsuit.”
The authority was created after Hurricane Katrina to serve as an independent body that would oversee flood protection in the New Orleans area. By axing these two commissioners, Jindal is not only tampering with the authority’s supposed independence — he is promoting deadly flooding in his own state.